Palm Sunday 2003, Philippines

Yesterday, April 13, people celebrated Palm Sunday in the Philippines. I went to the Meralco Theater at 7:30am to listen to Fr. Jerry Orbos (SVD). He talked about SARS (Selfish, Arrogant, Rebellious Sinners) and how to fight the disease (also with SARS). Other speakers shared a strand of their lives, and indirectly encouraged the crowd to improve our relationship with God and those around us.

There was the customs guy, Gil Valera, who spoke about how he lost his wife of 20 years and his 14 year-old son to a fire that hit their Ayala Heights home some 145 days ago. Amazing how he could speak in spite of the pain. Even more inspiring is the fact that he is raising three kids. Where does he get his strength? From his close relationship with God, I guess.

There were also Henry and Tess Macapinlac and their wonder baby Ysabel Dominique Macapinlac (600 grams at birth).

(Sidetopic -- New single of Regine Velasquez: "Pangarap ko ay ibigin ka, at sa habang panahon ikaw ay makasama. Ikaw na lang ang s'yang kulang sa buhay kong ito...")

Bo Sanchez gave an animated talk about how to solve the problems of this world. Technology won't work. People simply need to make their children feel special each and every day. Day in. Day out. Day in. Day out. Are you listening?

Bo Sanchez also talked about how he loves his wife the way she wants to be loved. So even if he's not a big fan of greeting cards, he treats cards sent to him by his wife with reverence because that way, she will feel loved. Nope, he won't leave those cards in the bathroom again.

Bo also added that we must love God not the way we wish to love Him, but the way He wishes to be loved -- by hearing mass, praying, attending prayer meetings.


Pamela Abellanosa of Baguio, Philippines, talked about how she slipped into a coma because of a head injury, and how novenas offered to Blessed Arnold Janssen (Society of the Divine Word) plus Pamela's miraculous recovery paved the way for the canonization of the founder of the SVD, slated for October 5, 2003.

Pam's mom, Mercy Abellanosa, talked about how the experience drew her closer to her family and in-laws.

There were also some song numbers...

There was Chad Borja who survived papilio carcinoma or thyroid cancer, and who wowed the audience with I Won't Last A Day Without You by The Carpenters.

Marco Sison sang My Love Will See You Through.

Ivy Violan lip-synched a song... don't remember now the title.

Cocoy Laurel, Dr. Ed Unson (The Animal House), and Gene (?) Lopez sang quite a few songs. Does anyone know the title of the song they sang acapella?

Fr. Jerry Orbos concelebrated the Sunday mass with other SVD priests from around 12 noon to 1pm. His homily summarized the key points of his earlier talks, which contain material found in his Philippine Daily Inquirer column Moments last April 13: SARS: Sincere And Repentant Sinner

Maybe next year, you might wish to drop by the Meralco Theater on Palm Sunday. Admission is free.

Some Photos - Palm Sunday, Philippines (Apr 13, 2003)
Chad Borja singing
Meralco Theater crowd
Fr Jerry Orbos celebrating Mass
SVD Priests
Marco Sison singing
Pinoys Shaking Palm Fronds
Cameraman and Cross
[ First posted on 04/14/2003 by Manuel Viloria ]



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